How good is the crop of quarterbacks in the class of 2011? It's a very good year for combo or spread quarterbacks, not so good for pro-style quarterbacks. Spread quarterbacks operate out of a shotgun formation. They run or pass based on what the defense gives them. But it is a weak year for pro-style quarterbacks because more schools are running the spread. It could be a future problem for the NFL because so many college quarterbacks are groomed to run the spread, not the conventional pro-style offense favored by the NFL.
So who are the top 10 pro-style quarterbacks in the nation?
1. Christian LeMay of Charlotte, N.C., is a 6-3, 195-pounder who is committed to Georgia. He is the No. 12 player in the nation. He is very athletic, has all the throws and boasts a lot of confidence.
2. Jeff Driskel of Oviedo, Fla., is a 6-3, 224-pounder who ranks as the No. 33 player in the nation and is committed to Florida. He has the strongest throwing arm in the country. He benefitted from his performance at the U.S. Army combine last January, which propelled him into stardom.
3. Cody Kessler of Bakersfield, Calif., is a 6-2, 225-pounder who has emerged as the best quarterback in California. He is committed to USC. Big and thick, he has a linebacker's body. He can throw deep with authority. He is the No. 37 player in the nation.
4. Max Wittek of Santa Ana, Calif., is a 6-4, 217-pounder who also has committed to USC. He is the No. 45 player in the nation. He plays in a great quarterback system at Mater Dei, one of the most successful high school programs in the nation. An efficient passer and leader, he gets the job done against the best competition in California.
5. Philllip Ely of Tampa, Fla., is a 6-1, 180-pounder who plays on the same team as running back/linebacker James Wilder, the top-rated player in the nation. Ely led his team to the state title last year. He has a big-time arm despite his lack of height. He is committed to Alabama. He will be able to fit into coach Nick Saban's offense.
6. Brandon Allen of Fayetteville, Ark., is a 6-2, 200-pounder whose father is an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas. He is committed to Arkansas. He had great sophomore and junior years and was named All-State on both occasions. He has good arm strength and makes few mistakes.
7. Kevin Hogan of Washington, D.C., is the nephew of former Notre Dame quarterback Coley O'Brien. He is the No. 1 quarterback in the Washington/Maryland area. Committed to Stanford, he has a big-time arm, is smart and can make all the throws. As a junior, he was an All-Area selection.
8. Kyle Boehm of San Jose, Calif., is a 6-3, 210-pounder who is fast-becoming one of the leading quarterbacks in California. He is committed to California.
9. Connor Cook of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is a 6-5, 200-pounder who is committed to Michigan State. He is coming on strong. He can run for a big guy, has good arm strength and could be effective in the spread.
10. Christian Suntrup of St. Louis, Mo., is a 6-3, 205-pounder who is committed to Boston College. He was one of the best performers at the U.S. Army combine. He has a smooth delivery, is calm under pressure and does a good job of finding secondary receivers.